It’s so damn easy to burn the paid advertising budget.
You could be bidding on the wrong keywords, for instance.
Or targeting ads at people who simply don’t need your products.
But you know, nothing beats this single most common way of wasting advertising cash:
Sending traffic to pages that can’t convert.
It doesn’t matter how amazing your ad is. Or how high click-through rate it achieves.
Unless the page you send the traffic to:
- Delivers on the promise in the ad,
- Catches the visitor’s attention and,
- Convinces them to take action…
And if you’re wondering what you could be doing wrong for this to happen, keep on reading.
I’m going to show you what landing page mistakes kill your paid advertising efforts.
Mistake #1: You’re Displaying Inconsistent Message
Do you know the first question anyone landing on your page from an ad is going to ask?
It’s “Am I in the right place after all?”
Just think of it:
The person trusted your ad and clicked to the landing page. But once there, the first thing they’ll look for are cues that this page actually delivers what the ad promised.
And unless you reassure them about it, they’ll be gone in a snap.
But how often there are significant discrepancies between the page and the ad?
- Featuring different language or tone of voice,
- Presenting a completely different offer,
- Displaying different images,
- Sporting a different color scheme and many more.
These inconsistencies confuse visitors, indicate that the page and the ad aren’t one and ultimately, push them off the page.
This online behavior was first indicated in 2001 byDr. Ed Chi, a Xerox Palo Alto Researcher, who suggested that humans track information in a similar way as animals follow a scent.
Here’s an excerpt from an article on the subject:
“People… engage in what [Dr. Ed Chi] calls “hub-and-spoke” surfing: They begin at the center, and they follow a trail based on its information scent…. If the scent is sufficiently strong, the surfer will continue to go on that trail. But if the trail is weak, they go back to the hub. “People repeat this process until they’re satisfied,” Chi said.”
It means that in order to keep the visitor on a page, you need to provide strong scent trails they could follow until you lead them to the end of the journey – a conversion.
Here are the most important scent trails on advertising landing pages:
Headline is the very first thing a user sees on a landing page. And needless to say, for them to see the page uniform with the ad, they both must feature the same headline.
Discrepancy between ad and landing page headlines creates a sense or irrelevancy and suggests to your visitors they might not be in the right place after all.
The same goes for what your ad offers. Whatever it has promised the visitor must be reflected on the landing page.
For example, if your ad read “get 20% off your next purchase”, the landing page should say exactly the same and not “get 20% off your FIRST purchase”, for instance.
This small difference in wording might seem insignificant to you but it will confuse visitors, diminishing their trust in your offer.
I’m sure you know that images affect conversions. From colors, quality to placement, they affect the perception of a product and our buying behavior.
But did you know that in online advertising, an image is also an extension of the main message?
Users who clicked on an ad use images as clues of the landing page’s relevancy.
The same image will convince a visitor that they are in the right place.
Two different images will create a sense of disconnection between the ad and its landing page.
Language and Tone of Voice
Funnily enough, this is the most overlooked aspect of ad / landing page relevancy.
For the two to work, they should include the same language and the tone of voice.
But how often you write an ad in a way to squeeze as much information in a little space. And then use different words on a landing page, since you’re not restricted by character limits?
For example, your ad might be claiming “free trial” while the landing page might call to “Sign up for free plan”.
Sure, it might sound the same to you but to an average visitor, each of these communicates a different message.
Free trial suggests a quick and simple way to test the app at no cost.
Sign up indicates the need to a more long-term commitment. Not to mention that for an average visitor, free trial and free plan are two different things.
Therefore, to increase your conversions, display a consistent message between the ad and the landing page – use the same headline, offer, images and tone of voice.
Mistake #2 You’re Not Breaking the Copy with Numbers
I bet you already know that numbers make the copy much easier to read.
For one, they stop a wandering eye and attract attention even when they’re embedded in a mass of text.
According to Jakob Nielsen, this happens because numbers represent facts.
Most users landing on product pages will be looking for specific facts (i.e. product size, weight, dimensions but also, offers, discounts and costs).
Therefore, including numbers, as numerals will increase the chances for a visitor seeing that information.
Nielsen gives a simple explanation of why that is happening. You see – the shape of a group of digits is different from that of a group of letters.
For instance, 2014 looks different from four, even though both consist of the same number of characters. Even without styling the number in bold, it will stand out from a mass of text.
But that’s not all…
No matter what you are promoting, using real world numbers in your landing page will make you look more credible and will increase your conversion rate most of the time.
For example, in a recent test, a landing page with numbers about AdEspresso’s usage (https://adespresso.com/join2/) showed a conversion rate 13.7% higher than the usual landing page featuring no numbers.
Mistake #3: Your Page Boasts Features
Oh I’m sure of it…
Your product’s features rock.
The technology you used to build it makes it like nothing else on the market. And certain functionality you added truly leaves the competition behind.
But here’s the deal:
Your visitors don’t care about any of it.
As someone once said, people have little interest in buying a bed. What they want is a good nights sleep.
In other words, to sell you need to tell visitors what REAL problem your product solves.
SERPIQ for instance asks a question that will resonate with anyone having a particular problem the app is solving. It then follows to list additional benefits of using the product. Also notice how they turned 3 key features into benefits too.
But what about features then?
They still matter:
Benefits sell your product. Without them, everything else you state on a page is just eye-candy.
But it’s the features that help prospects make the final buying decision.
Take selecting accounting software for example. What you need is an easy way to keep books by yourself. But once you find one or two apps that promise to deliver just that, you might decide to pick one with a simpler interface. Or one that offers a mobile app as well.
In other words, once you are sold on the benefits (i.e. simple accounting for non-accountants), you start looking at features to select the best solution.
Mistake #4: You Ask Visitor to Do Too Much Work
Believe it or not but:
21% of your visitors will abandon a purchase because the process takes too long.
The good news is then that you can easily recover those lost sales by simply shortening the form on your page.
Ask only for the most critical information. If you promote a service for instance, then name, email and phone number are probably enough information to follow up and move the sale further.
If you’re offering a downloadable resource, oftentimes a name and email are enough. If you want to prequalify prospects, you could add profession or company. But try not to exceed 5 fields’ sweet spot.
Design a form to take less space. If you must include other fields, design your form in a way to at least visually look short:
- Try including 2 elements per line if possible. For instance, ask for first and second name in one line instead of breaking them into separate lines.
- Reduce the amount of space between each field. If you don’t overdo it, it will help you shorten the form without making it hard to read.
Break the form into a number of steps. Lastly, if you really need to feature a very long form, consider splitting it into two pages. Ask fewer questions on page 1 and move the visitor to the next page with additional info. The idea behind this is that if someone will initiate the process, they are far more likely to complete it. A long form however might deter them from even starting.
Mistake 5: You Disregard the Data
You know, my friend Joel Klettke has it right:
Creating converting landing pages is more science than art.
It follows a rigorous process of research and analysis to discover:
- The target audience’s problems, pain points and priorities.
- How do they talk about the problem, what words do they use.
- What objections would prevent them from buying your solution and much more.
Only with that information you can create a landing page that addresses the visitor’s REAL problem.
But here’s the thing:
You’re sitting on tons of data that could help you uncover it.
And yet you’re not using any of it.
- Facebook for instance provides enormous amounts of demographic information about users.
- Google Adwords and Analytics contain a mountain of information about their interests. From keywords to engagement, landing pages and most popular content on your site.
- Your support people could tell you an awful lot about the customers’ concerns.
- Sales team has that intimate knowledge of your customers; their needs but also objections that could help you build rapport from the opening line of your page.
- Email inquiries you receive contain questions that unearth the real reasons prospects look at your solution.
- Your product reviews reveal what people like and dislike about your product (and why would they buy or not buy it).
All this information combined could give you a great foundation to create a converting landing page.